18 June 2011

The e-Library

The thing I really like about checking an ebook out of the library is that when it's due, it just goes away. No pestering Scarecrow to return it, no overdue fines, nothing like that. I'm ashamed to admit that it's saved me a chunk of change. This is a very fine thing.

The thing I really don't like about checking an ebook out of the library is that when it's due, it just goes away. Even if I'm part way through and really want to finish it and I can't renew it because I know there are holds on it so I know this is evil but I want to just pay the fine and hang onto it for an extra day. Or maybe two. But I can't. When it's due, it just goes away. I have to put another hold on it and get back in line. By the time I can check it out again, I'll have forgotten where I left off.

On the bright side, if you'd call it that, by the time I can check it out again, it'll be like a brand-new book. I must've liked it, because I wanted to finish it. So there's that. I don't know that my pathetic reading retention is an MS thing. I'm more inclined to think it's an easily distracted old lady thing. In either event, I can reread my favorite books, and enjoy them all over again. I can even reread mysteries, and not remember who done it. It's a silver lining type of thing.

Also, getting back to ebooks, the whippets have yet to come up with a way to chew them up. It's not that they're all that bad about chewing up books. They've only totally decimated one hardback, and nibbled around the edges of a couple of paperbacks. The commute to Scarecrow's new job way down at the other end of town makes for a long day for them to be all alone, poor dears. Of course the paperbacks were ours. The hardback was a library book.

Where was I going with this?

In a comment on an earlier post, which I know I should respond to but rarely do, Donna at Arranging Shoes wanted to know how I manage the reading thing anyway. Here's the scoop.

I used to use the eraser end of a pencil to turn pages on a real paper book. Sometimes, at a good time, on a good day, with a cooperative book, I can still do that. Sometimes I have to ask Scarecrow to turn pages for me, and amazingly, sometimes he's willing to interrupt what he's doing every minute and a half to do that. I've got to say that struggling to turn a page, or having to ask someone to turn it for me and waiting while they do that, does not do good things for my reading comprehension. Yeah I know, excuses, excuses. But some books just aren't available in a digital format, and won't be anytime soon. You do what you gotta do.

For digital books, I really like the whole eReader idea. Books and gadgets – what's not to like? I wish I still had enough manual dexterity to hold one and make it go, but I don't.

Audio books can be nice, especially when they're read by somebody good. My problem with them is that when I'm distracted, or stop paying attention, or fall asleep, the reader goes merrily on without me. Finding where I left off has not been easy. With a real paper book, or even an ebook, I can always pick it up where I stopped turning pages.

So mostly I read ebooks on my laptop. And wait to get to the top of the library hold queue.


  1. I SO agree with you about the digital books from the library systems. I can get mine from both the Tacoma Public Library and the Pierce County Library. I also agree with you about the disappearing act they pull, even (or especially) when you're not done with one.

    My husband came up with a method to bypass all that; HE HAD TO because I was throwing a hissy fit: he changed my OS to Linux and the library will download just to Windows or Mac computers.

    So, he put a "virtual Windows" on my computer into which I boot when I need books. Once I have them on my computer, they stay over there. Also, for convenience' sake, I transfer the books back into Linux by converting them through some program he found that is a video converter. I have to do this because, um, something about Linux can read Windows, but not the other way around (so when I am in Linux which I am 98% of the time) I can't access the books. Plus, it converts WMA books to MP3 which I can use on my MP3 player outside if Summer ever gets here.

    So short story long, and probably making no sense because I just woke from a nap, YAY for free digital books. I was in the middle of Follett's World Without End when it disappeared. Just got it back last night. I have only another 700 pages or so to go!

    If this comment totally sucked - sorry, and LOL - MS brain is on Swiss Cheese mode.

  2. Augh the reason I usually do not use the library - the fines when I forget to return on time! I like the eraser adaptation. Right now my prob is holding the pages open. So I use those big black paper clip thingies.

    The worst chewed up book was compliments of our cat (Tater kitty). She clawed up the wall paper once also - such a little you know what - but we miss her.

    Catfish likes listening to the audio books. Me I fall asleep too. He never tells me the ending though - what a guy.

    they should make a voice activated e book reader - umm maybe they do and I just missed that memo?


  3. I like this post about Ebooks, I have not read any yet. It would be a problem to be half read and they disappear but?? I would forget what I read, like you said.

  4. Hi Zoomdoggies,
    Thanks for an interesting post.
    I know nothing about elibraries sounds good wonder which ones I can access, could I use the same as you do?
    Sadly the library here has a mobile library which brings books to your house just not audio books, which I found weird.
    Please call by my blog and pick up your awards.
    I hope you enjoy passing them on as I have.
    Its a pleasure to visit you and read your posts.

  5. With Patti's MS related memory loss, the whole 'where did I leave off' is a moot point. Seems more about the context than the content.

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick